Category: Copyright

What’s up with Canadian Copyright? (new edition)

I just gave a lecture about copyright called: What’s up with Canadian Copyright? Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation (or here in PDF format).

It uses the excellent NFB documentary by Brett Gaylor called: RIP! A remix manifesto. See also the movie’s page here.

This is a similar lecture to the one I delivered in February 2013 in prof. Tagny Duff’s Intermedia class at Concordia University’s Scholl of Communication Studies.

It is part of a playlist of videos on YouTube, including one on Creative Commons and the user generated content exception. Here are the 6 videos in a single playlist:


Additional reading materials:

– Read the legislative summary for bill C-11 by the Library of Parliament. (in general, it is a great idea to find these legislative summaries, the Library of the Parliament of Canada usually issues these for most laws).

– The “CCH” supreme court case (on fair dealings): CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC 13, [2004] 1 SCR 339
Read the first dozen pages for a great introduction to Canadian Copyright. On fair dealings, start with paragraph 48, which reads :

48 Before reviewing the scope of the fair dealing exception under the Copyright Act, it is important to clarify some general considerations about exceptions to copyright infringement. Procedurally, a defendant is required to prove that his or her dealing with a work has been fair; however, the fair dealing exception is perhaps more properly understood as an integral part of the Copyright Act than simply a defence. Any act falling within the fair dealing exception will not be an infringement of copyright. The fair dealing exception, like other exceptions in the Copyright Act, is a user’s right. In order to maintain the proper balance between the rights of a copyright owner and users’ interests, it must not be interpreted restrictively. As Professor Vaver, supra, has explained, at p. 171: “User rights are not just loopholes. Both owner rights and user rights should therefore be given the fair and balanced reading that befits remedial legislation.”

On the 5 Supreme Court copyright cases delivered during the Summer of 2012, please access the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s website for the free full-text version of these rulings:

2012-07-12 Re:Sound v. Motion Picture Theatre Associations of Canada, 2012 SCC 38, [2012] 2 SCR 376
2012-07-12 Alberta (Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2012 SCC 37, [2012] 2 SCR 345
2012-07-12 Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Bell Canada, 2012 SCC 36, [2012] 2 SCR 326
2012-07-12 Rogers Communications Inc. v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 35, [2012] 2 SCR 283
2012-07-12 Entertainment Software Association v. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, 2012 SCC 34, [2012] 2 SCR 231

How to analyse a copyright issue (in French) :

Comment utiliser une oeuvre protégée par le droit d'auteur ?

Comment utiliser une oeuvre protégée par le droit d’auteur ?

On econometrics…

I’ve always wanted to learn a few more languages, and I am going to add a new one to my “must earn before I die” list: econometrics. I sense that this is the analytical tool that I will eventually have to use to really dig deep into the problems I want to research. The problem is that I’ve already done the math when I was younger, but I couldn’t remember it to same my life.

In any case, here are some sources to read… in my free time…

Mostly Harmess Econometrics (2008) from Princeton University Press (this book was cited on an interesting report on copyright from the National Academies Press)

ECONOMETRICS. Bruce E. Hansen c 2000, 20131. University of Wisconsin (free ebook!)

And this video series from Ben Lambert on YouTube :

Of course, the two introductory textbooks that are often recommended are:
– Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach by Jeffrey Wooldridge
– Introduction to Econometrics by Stock & Watson

Copyright a contrario – CDACI Lecture series, Université de Montréal

Here is the video of a lecture in English I gave yesterday at Université de Montréal’s Centre du droit des affaires et du commerce International. I also pasted below the abstract and the poster of the event :

Copyright, caught in a digital maelstrom of perpetual reform and shifting commercial practices, exacerbates tensions between cultural stakeholders. On the one hand, copyright seems to be drowned in Canada and the USA by the role reserved to exceptions by the legislature and the courts granted to certain institutions. On the other, these institutions, such as libraries, are keen to navigate digital environments by allocating their acquisitions budgets to digital works.

Beyond the paradigm shifts brought by digital technologies, one must recognize the conceptual paradox surrounding digital copyrighted works. In economic terms, they behave naturally as public goods, while copyright attempts to restore their rivalrousness and excludability. Within this paradox lies tension, between the aggregate social wealth spread by a work and its commoditized value, between network effects and reserved rights. How can markets emerge if we are not able to resolve this tension?

After discussing some theoretical aspects described above, this paper will attempt to cast new light on user rights (as posited by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004) and other emerging concepts in copyright. In particular, the making available right will be analysed from the perspective of the library community. The goal is to express how libraries can fit in a distribution chain of cultural products through the two copyright tools at their disposal: licences/limitations and exceptions.

A few Fair Use Guides & Statements

Here are a few Fair Use guides setup by institutions. Fair Use is a general exception to copyright applies in the USA – in Canada, we have fair dealings, which applies to private study, research, news reporting, criticism and review.

These guides may be useful in devising our own fair dealings guides.

Best practices” from the Center for Social Media, includes the following:
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries from the Association of Research LibrariesCode of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare
Copyright, Free Speech, and the Public’s Right to Know: How Journalists Think about Fair Use
(Thanks to this post from District Approach, an ALA blog)

For videos:
Fair Use and Video: Community Practices in the Fair Use of Video in Libraries

For music:
– The Music Library Association (USA) has a series of guides delaing with Digital reserves (a type of fair use in libraries, as this one from Indiana University) as well as a general Statement on the Copyright Law and Fair Use in Music.

For images:
Visual Resources Association: Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study (see this blog post: New College Art Association Standards and Guidelines on the Fair Use of Images posted by Linda Downs)

Academic integrity and Copyright

Here is a talk I missed at the Canadian Library Association’s annual conference and trade show last May (from the program, over 4 MB in PDF) :

B9 – From Plagiarism to Copyright Infringement and Back Again: An Agony in Six Skits

Can I copy this? The question that arises every time someone wants to use information that was created by someone else. Through the use of mini-skits, this session will illustrate the issues that need to be considered when answering this question. It will help participants to distinguish between copyright infringement and plagiarism and suggest ways to make an appropriate decision.

Speakers:
Kathryn Arbuckle, Law Librarian & AUL Information Resources, University of Alberta
Margaret Law, AUL International Relations, University of Alberta

Rare to see copyright and Academic Integrity paired in the same session. I’ve come to wonder about the link between copyright and Academic Integrity, they both include aspects of the other. For example, Copyright, in Canada at least, includes a Moral Right, whereby one must correctly attribute a work to its creator or face sanctions. Academic Integrity, on the other hand, is all about “appropriate” uses of documentation – using, quoting, copying… they seem to intersect, maybe even overlap, but they are also very different.

Copyright is enshrined in law whereas Academic integrity is more akin to a moral code established by local communities (your university, your research group…), vaguely similar to that of other communities but slightly different.

I sometimes think about this during my long train rides to and from work… mostly because I compulsively blog about copyright on my other blog, www.culturelibre.ca (en Francçais).